LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Just 11 days after a court ruling struck down a federal ban on bump stocks, U.S. Rep. Dina Titus has reintroduced legislation to outlaw the devices in the United States.
Titus and congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick, D-Penn., and Dan Kildee, D-Mich., are sponsoring the bipartisan effort. Titus and Kildee are Democrats, while Fitzpatrick — a former FBI special agent and federal prosecutor — is a Republican.
“Over five years after the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history occurred in my district, we still have not permanently outlawed bump stocks,” Titus said. “We must reverse the unfortunate trend of inaction in Congress on gun violence prevention. If we do nothing, especially in light of recent judicial action, we risk allowing the use of bump stocks to be legal and more lives to be lost.”
Stephen Paddock killed 58 people attending the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017 — an event now known in Las Vegas as 1 October. Two subsequent deaths have since been added to the total, now 60.
A 13-3 ruling on Jan. 6 by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals in New Orleans struck down the federal ban on bump stocks, rejecting descriptions of bump stocks as “machine guns.” The devices change the way a semiautomatic weapon works, allowing a shooter to fire rounds as if it were a fully automatic weapon. The ban could ultimately be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, but the new legislation seeks to head that off.
A Nevada law that outlaws bump stocks remains in place while the federal ban has been shelved.
The bill, nicknamed “Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act,” passed in the House in 2021, but was dropped from consideration by the Senate.
“Unregulated civilian ownership of bump stocks presents a clear and present danger to American public safety. Effectively rendering semi-automatic firearms into machine guns which can fire hundreds of rounds per minute, bump stocks allowed the shooter in Las Vegas in 2017 to kill nearly 60 people, and shoot over 400 more, in only 10 minutes,” said Brady Director of Federal Policy Mark Collins. “Recent court decisions regarding bump stock ownership further highlight the need for legislative action to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Brady is grateful to Congresswoman Titus for her leadership on this issue and proud to endorse this legislation.”